Is this death, this dull ache in my back?
What of these pains that pulse through my body?
This fear that sleeps and wakes with me, is it death
like a crow picking on carrion in the street?
Is she death, this face that greets me in the mirror each morning?
This woman I do not recognize?
This exhaustion, is it death
ringing the bell, waring me that the time for eternal rest is fast approaching?
Perhaps it is death.
I do not like it though.
I prefer to believe it is life.
Life marching on.
Life marching over me.
Perhaps I will grab hold of it
and let it carry me along
through this maelstrom that rages for an eternity
or a moment.
Perhaps, when the winds die and the sea stops churning,
there will be peace
peace in this life
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Worse than criticism is silence.
I put it out there.
I laid myself bare
but all I heard
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Four years ago, I wrote this poem. Four years ago, I let go of the misguided belief that to write about painful family relationships is to be disloyal. Four years ago, I began the process of becoming an artist. Make no mistake-you cannot be an artist if you censor yourself; if you hid your past; if you sacrifice your truth to protect others.
Shadows & Light
Life with you was shadows and light.
On days when there was only light,
there was never only light.
A small step
in either direction
and you would cast your shadow.
Some days it would remain small
It would lurk
and then grow.
It would grow
until it reigned over us.
And tears would rain
longing for light’s return.
If only it was always shadow,
the light would not be missed.
But such was not our fate.
Now that you are gone, it is only shadow-
that haunts my memories
that burdens my conscience
that chases the light.
that never ends